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Surgical Dermatology

Surgical Dermatology

Surgical dermatology uses advanced procedures and techniques to diagnose and treat skin disorders and skin cancer. Surgery is employed to treat medically necessary conditions of the skin, hair, nails, and adjacent tissues, and for cosmetic purposes. The goal of surgery is to repair or improve function and cosmetic appearance. Many procedures are minimally invasive which reduces downtime or recovery and require only local or regional anesthesia.

Many skin lesions are not dangerous but are cosmetically unacceptable including moles, warts, skin tags and other skin growths. When topical creams and heat, laser and light therapies don’t work, surgical removal may be needed. Contact Dr. Hoffman to receive the correct diagnosis and all of your treatment options.

Simple excision is used when there is a suspicion that the growth or lesion may be cancerous. Skin growths can be removed by simple excision. Simple excision is where the entire lesion is cut out and removed. Local anesthetic is injected before excision to prevent any discomfort. Dr. Hoffman will use a surgical blade to remove the lesion and a margin of normal appearing skin and close the wound with special glue or stitches. The excised tissue is sent to the lab to diagnose the cause of the growth.

A shave biopsy is the partial removal of a growth or lesion. It is used to remove small suspicious skin growths to diagnose the nature of the lesion.  Dr. Hoffman will shave off the top of the lesion and send it for pathological analysis. The wound is closed with heat (cautery) to stop bleeding and seal the skin. A shave biopsy may also be used for the partial removal of harmless skin tags and seborrheic keratoses (noncancerous skin growths that form with age).  Cosmetic results are good.

Cryosurgery is the use of liquid nitrogen to destroy benign and some superficial skin cancers. It is also used to remove actinic keratoses (precancerous lesions) and seborrheic keratoses. After treatment a scab will form and fall off in a week or two. Cosmetic results are good.

C&E involves scrapping or burning off of small benign skin growths and lesions. With an electrosurgical tool the surgeon applies the tip of the electrode to the lesion or growth. The current destroys the tissue. Warts, granulomas, and keratoses are amenable to this treatment. Curettage and desiccation can be used to treat very small superficial nonmelanoma skin cancers in combination with excision. Cosmetic results are not as good as other options.

Cysts and other subcutaneous growths can be removed in a routine office procedure.

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